We want you to feel welcome and settle in quickly after arriving in Berlin. Here you will find practical information and useful guidance to enable you (and your family) to successfully navigate your first steps in Berlin.
In Germany, every resident staying for more than three months must register his/her residency with the local authorities usually at the nearest town hall (Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt). This has to be done within two weeks after arrival in Berlin, even if you only have temporary accommodation at the time. Read more
We recommend you to start looking for accommodation as soon as possible and, if applicable, only to send for your family when you have found a suitable place to stay. For a short time you can temporarily stay at a hotel or guest-house or perhaps with friends or acquaintances until you find a permanent residence. Read more
If you are pursuing doctoral studies or doing research in Germany for an extended period, and are receiving a regular salary, scholarship, or fellowship and have to pay rent, insurance, and other fees, you need to open a local bank account as early as possible. Read more
In Germany it is mandatory for all students, researchers, and their family members to have health insurance (Krankenversicherung).You will need to provide proof of your health insurance to obtain a residence permit and sign an employment contract. Read more
For a longer stay in Germany, over three months, international researchers of non-EU countries need to apply for a residence permit at the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office before their visa expires. If you have been issued a national visa for study or research in Germany, you will have to apply for a residence permit within three months after arrival. Processing applications may take several weeks so do make an appointment well in advance or the expiry date of your visa. Read more
The university's computer service center (ZEDAT) provides data processing, internet, and email facilities to all its members. Doctoral students who have enrolled at Freie Universität automatically receive all necessary information to open an email account. Employees need to apply for an account. Read more
Although English is perceived as the language of science, the importance of German cannot be underestimated when living in Germany. If you take a German course before leaving for Germany, you will find it easier to transition to the new cultural and social environment. Read more